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Pushpit

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  1. I think I'm going to disagree there, at least if it's for the current voyage, I think the evidence is that Cunard is pretty keen on money, so if there are empty cabins and your wallet needs slimming down, I think they would be happy to assist. It's best to go to the Voyage Office since they can give you a straightforward answer as to whether it's possible, and usually on embarkation they aren't too busy. I saw one couple do this since they didn't realise that the outside window didn't open (ok, that's a whole thread in itself,,,,,) but the Voyage Office agent said "how about $500?" and the husband concerned couldn't get the money out fast enough. If it's a future voyage then I suspect again that while it gets worked back via the TA, and they will make suggestions.
  2. The reason to pre-pay is to reduce the cost per head, and so using the OBC (once boarded) instead isn't going to work. But I wouldn't pre-book out of fear that Verandah will sell out - some time slots may do so, but when I've checked mycunard onboard I've never seen it full.
  3. As far as I know, the Plusgrade programme can still apply for those who tick "no upgrades" on the initial booking. That tick relates to free upgrades, which come from leftfield, and that sounds unsuitable for you. But yes, this sounds like a good issue for your travel agent to resolve.
  4. My post today (Saturday!) had a "Your ocean awaits" booklet for me, for a sailing in May, so they are being sent out.
  5. The Plusgrade upgrade bids can happen after paying the final balance, in fact they shouldn't be sent out to anyone who has not paid their final balance. Plusgrades go out around 80 days to the sailing. I am fairly sure that I have upgraded category after the final balance (and definitely before the final balance). Cunard just want your money so will offer a personalised figure for the upgrade to those who book direct with them. I have no experience with travel agents and Cunard.
  6. I'm not sure there's a lot of choice about this. It will still be daylight until around 9pm, and at some point the residents of Southampton will have an expectation of being able to sleep without being disrupted by fireworks. So they are in a fairly tight window here. I suspect the restaurant crew will manage to work around people wanting to see the fireworks.
  7. Pushpit

    One out of two

    Yes, the insurance companies in the UK work on the basis that medical costs in Europe aren't usually very significant due to the agreement that the NHS has with most European countries, usually in respect of critical care and emergency care. So many insurers expect you to have an EHIC card, or the post Brexit equivalent GHIC, though in most cases actual presentation of the card helps only to facilitate paperwork. You will still get treated without it, and the insurance companies will typically only pay a small amount after the reciprocities are all sorted out. The problem is that some conditions in some countries are not regarded as critical or emergency care items, since in some European countries they would be dealt with by the same specialist hospitals and wards that handle long term care. Cardiac events and COPD are typical examples where different countries won't take someone to Accident and Emergency / Emergency Room but to a more expensive institution. Consequently the risk to the insurance company is a great deal higher if you are travelling with that condition and to particular countries, compared to healthy travellers having a minor incident. But here's a good reminder to check your EHIC/GHIC status.
  8. Cunard isn't really into packages, at least at the moment, so it's always the case that Cunard pricing works on "no extras", which in this context is easier for comparison. For the better suites (Grills) there may be drink packages thrown in. I try to monitor fares, and from what I can make out sale prices are usually close to the lowest price point, complicated a bit by their usual habit of adding some sort of onboard credit. If the question is "will I get scammed buying now?" then the answer is "most unlikely". If the question is "is this the very lowest it will get?" the answer is "no". If a sailing doesn't fill up for what ever reason then around 100 to 70 days to sailing then prices can be cut to the bone, particularly for inside and obstructed balconies, occasionally outside and Club balconies. Cunard will almost give away a stateroom than let it stay empty, they'll get their money via high margin items like drinks and wifi. This isn't great for those who need to plan ahead (but terrific for me!) but some sailings can be predicted not to be good selling items (e.g. after Labor Day if US based, or Med trips in mid October).
  9. What a beautiful morning it looks to be in the Cape.
  10. with Aji Wa seemingly a per menu item charge, assume $30 or so depending on appetite. We are fortunate that @TowandaUK has posted the menus elsewhere in this board in the last few days, separate threads. Cunard so far has not done much in terms of a dining package, unlike some other lines. Or indeed gone for some sort of "added extras" packaging. Some TA deals may get you a free alternative dining meal, and Diamonds with Cunard World Club get a free alternative dining lunch (with a few caveats). Given the limited options on the other 3 ships there isn't a lot of scope for it. QA could perhaps change that but I've not seen anything about that yet. If it's like the wifi and drinks packages, I wouldn't assume it's going to be bargain even if it did happen. You can save some money by booking in advance, and once on board they may announce some deal in the Daily Programme if they are trying to boost the numbers.
  11. Cunard does sell some 14 day sailings which are NYC-UK-NYC, or you can simply buy one-way x 2. So far example: 3 January 2025, NYC-SOU-NYC = 15 nights as sold, but you can buy it as 2 x one-ways if you prefer. Then there are some oddities such as 9 January 2025 - Queen Anne - SOU-NYC, crawling over at 9 nights. But other cruise lines also do trips across the Atlantic apart from Cunard, NCL springs to mind.
  12. It may help if you give a few additional words as to exactly what you are trying to do here?
  13. I also take starch with me (I decant it into a small spray bottle). I actually think it takes less time to iron with starch than without it. And if you keep using starch on a shirt it gets better over time, sharper and faster to do. Maybe there was a time when a quick starch spritz - and no ironing - would fool some in the chain of command, but I'm not recommending it.
  14. Yes, but it's all about timing and Cunard getting worried about unused inventory. Bear in mind Cunard will nearly give away staterooms if it has to, since the big margin money is from drink, casino, spa, alternative dining (on QA in particular). Plusgrade upgrades only start around 80 days to the sailing, but unless they have enough people on board, they won't have enough people to extract upsells. Grills and BC are good margin products, I estimate the margin to be 30% or more (compared to almost no margin on Inside staterooms) so yes I suspect they don't want to cannibalise BC and Grills' margin if they can avoid it. But have a look at the 24 June 2024 QV in the Med, 7 night rates on that are low in BC, just over £1099 pp for 7 nights, 2 sharing, and in fact across the board. June isn't that far off so they may well be very keen to shift inventory on that one.
  15. Good for you. However I don't think this is an unusual set of events, prices can and do fluctuate, including sharply downwards as you near departure. On other sailings, which are very popular, you may not be able to get on for any fare - all staterooms and suites are allocated. You win some, you lose others. Obviously it's terribly important - once you've got a bargain - not to keep looking at fares......
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